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Gregory Crewdson At Alan Koppel
Alan Koppel Gallery will present “EVENINGSIDE: New Photographs by Gregory Crewdson” from April 7-June 30. Crewdson is widely considered one of the most important contemporary photographers. In “EVENINGSIDE,” Crewdson “explores moments of contemplation within the confines of quotidian life: in places of employment, and in moments just outside of those work structures. The figures populating the pictures are sparse, and are often seen through storefront windows, in mirror reflections, or positioned underneath the mundane proscenium found in the midst of their everyday routines: railroad bridges, doorways, porches, the overhanging roofline of a bank teller drive-through, a corner market or a hardware store. Crewdson’s work has been compared to that of Edward Hopper and David Lynch, and his ability to capture the atmosphere and emotion of a moment is truly unparalleled.” An opening reception is Friday, April 7, 6pm-8pm. More here.
Ramova Could Reopen This Year
After thirty years vacant, the Ramova Theatre, a 1920s Bridgeport movie house, could reopen soon. Reports Block Club: “Work is slated to wrap up this year on the massive redevelopment project, which will turn the Ramova Theatre into a concert venue, restaurant, brewery and events venue, developer Tyler Nevius said.” (David Hammond observed the project’s progress and ambitions in a Newcity feature last October.)
Five Lightfoot Legacies A New Mayor Could Discard
“Whoever gets the job, be it Paul Vallas or Brandon Johnson, will bring new goals and initiatives to the city, and he’ll have to make tough decisions on whether to continue, or ditch, some of his predecessors’ plans,” Justin Kaufmann tallies at Axios. “Mayor Lightfoot pushed through a few signature projects that are at risk of being rolled back under a new administration.”
Fulton Market Gets Chan Zuckerberg Life Sciences Hub
“The biohub research venture of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Dr. Priscilla Chan is setting up in Chicago’s Fulton Market, its first location outside of its original center in San Francisco,” reports the Sun-Times. “The operation will unite researchers in academia to study inflammation in human tissue and its role in diseases. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will work with scientists from the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.”
Loop Poopers: Salesforce, Meta Hope To Offload Downtown Office Space
“Salesforce and Meta are looking to sublease significant portions of their downtown office space,” reports the Trib. Salesforce is “expected to make up to 125,000 square feet available for sublease in its sixty-story building,” says CoStar News, “about two months before the company is set to move into the nearly completed trophy tower.” Meta, in the midst of cutting tens of thousands of jobs, is looking to “shed about 115,000 square feet in its Chicago office, expanding the Facebook parent’s efforts to slash expensive real estate,” says CoStar.”The company is seeking to… sublease five floors of its 263,000-square-foot space at 151 North Franklin… Meta [wants] one or more tenants to take its space on floors 19, 20, 27, 28 and 29.”
Renting A Wisconsin Frank Lloyd Wright Home
Reporter Alex Fisher of NBC 5 takes a tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Still Bend home you can rent in Two Rivers, Wisconsin as “overnight visitors.”
United Plans “Air Taxis” Between Illinois Medical District And O’Hare
“United plans to offer air taxi service between O’Hare Airport and the Illinois Medical District beginning in 2025,” reports the Sun-Times. The trip, carrying four passengers and a pilot, “is expected to take about ten minutes, according to California-based Archer Aviation, which is partnering with United Airlines.” A spokesman said the fare could be competitive with Uber Black. “The air taxis are expected to land at Vertiport Chicago, billed as ‘Chicago’s only full-service downtown heliport.'”
DINING & DRINKING
London’s Big-Ticket Hawksmoor Steak House Takes LaSalle Street Cable Car Powerhouse
London’s Hawksmoor, ranked one of the best steakhouses in the world by World’s 101 Best (which also marks Gibsons near the top), has announced early plans for a Chicago flagship to open in the first half of 2024. The locale is the designated landmark LaSalle Street Cable Car Powerhouse, a 16,500 square-foot three-story space which opened in 1887 to serve the city’s cable car system. Hawksmoor’s standards include serving steaks from ethically reared cattle and sustainably sourced seafood. Says co-founder Will Beckett, “Chicago is the historical powerhouse of American beef, and when we found out about an actual powerhouse building, it felt like fate.” The company, which opened its first American restaurant in 2021 in New York City, publishes an annual impact report (here); Hawksmoor markets its London locations here.
Who Was Going To Move Taste To The Pier? FOIA Documents Almost Entirely Redacted
“Block Club sought to find out who made key decisions about Taste, but nearly all of the 121 pages of emails were fully redacted,” reports Block Club Chicago. “The Park District refuses to disclose records showing who was involved in the closed-door planning to move the Taste of Chicago” to accommodate NASCAR. “Block Club submitted a public records request March 7 to the Park District asking for officials’ emails containing key words such as ‘Taste of Chicago’ and ‘Grant Park’… The Park District even hid the contents of a message discussing how to respond… though it didn’t redact the subject line, which said, ‘Importance: High.’ … Other emails were widely circulated among city workers, with dozens of recipients spanning multiple city departments, yet the Park District redacted the body and even the subject line of the messages before releasing the censored versions.”
Illinois Getting State Bean
Not to leave the black walnut as April’s only state-named edible, the Illinois House voted 105-0 to make the soybean the official state bean of Illinois.
FILM & TELEVISION
Made-In-Chicago Starz Series May Push To Fall
The second session of Chicago-shot Starz series “Power Book IV: Force” may not be shown until September, reports Screen. “And as for the network’s decision on a Season Three order, top brass would likely wait and see how season two fares with viewers before rendering a verdict… Last year, the spinoff starring Chicago native Joseph Sikora… set a record as the most-watched series premiere in Starz network history, reeling in 3.3 million multi-platform views.”
Hyde Park’s Harper Theater To Reopen
Bookstores Like Women & Children First Energized By Book Ban Acts
“As book banning efforts intensify… old-school feminist bookstores and new intersectional feminist stores alike are drawing customers seeking safe spaces for buying books and gathering information,” reports Publishers Weekly. “Sarah Hollenbeck, co-owner of Women & Children First in Chicago, echoed other feminist booksellers [we] spoke with when she said that the current culture wars have rejuvenated her forty-four-year-old store. ‘In recent years, we’ve only stood stronger in our mission and encouraged our community to invest in the ongoing work… Our most recent tote bag reads “Support Your Local Feminist Bookstore” in big, bold, all-caps letters. That pretty much captures the tone of our current marketing strategy.'”
Massive Cuts Advance At NPR
“We literally are fighting to secure the future of NPR at this very moment by restructuring our cost structure. It’s that important,” NPR chief executive John Lansing tells David Folkenflik at “All Things Considered.” “It’s existential.” “NPR moved this week to cut ten-percent of its staff and stop production of a trio of acclaimed seasonal podcasts—’Invisibilia,’ ‘Louder Than a Riot’ and ‘Rough Translation’— as it seeks to close a yawning budget gap that stands in excess of $30 million.” The network also canceled a year-old comedy podcast, “Everyone & Their Mom,” a spinoff of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.” Posts NPR Music associate editor Marissa Lorusso, “I was one of the people laid off from NPR during this brutal round of layoffs. I’m gutted and heartbroken that I won’t be able to continue working at NPR Music on stories I love with people I admire so much. I will have more to say at some point—my last day is in late April… but in the meantime: this sucks.”
Ronny Jackson, a Republican representative from Texas, has introduced a bill to defund the portion of public-broadcasting funding that comes from the government. “For decades, radical Democrats have siphoned hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to NPR and PBS under the guise of ‘serving the public’ despite sharing all the same propaganda of any other radical-left corporate news outlet,” Jackson stated. (The bill, with no co-sponsors, has almost no chance of passing.)
Illinois State Grandstand Passes Go On Sale
“Tickets go on sale this week for this year’s Illinois State Fair Grandstand concert series,” reports NBC 5. “Headliners so far include Old Dominion, REO Speedwagon, Maren Morris and Alter Bridge with Mammoth WVH.”
Summerfest Is Fifty-Five
Summerfest 2023 announced over a hundred performers for this year’s music festival, reports Milwaukee magazine. Seven will headline the American Family Amphitheater: Eric Church with Elle King; Zac Brown Band with Marcus King; James Taylor & His All-Star Band with Sheryl Crow; Dave Matthews Band; ODESZA with Bonobo; Zach Bryan; and Imagine Dragons with AJR. Summerfest takes place over three consecutive weekends, June 22-24, June 29-July 1 and July 6-8.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Major Shakeup At Fermilab
“In an unusual move, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has quietly begun a new competition for the contract to run the United States’ sole dedicated particle physics laboratory,” reports Science. “The rebid comes one year after Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), which is managed in part by the University of Chicago (UChicago), failed an annual DOE performance review and nine months after it named a new director. DOE would not comment, but observers say its frustrations include cost increases and delays in a gargantuan new neutrino experiment.”
Chicago State University Near Strike
“Faculty members at Illinois’ only predominantly Black public university could go on strike as early as April 3,” reports the Sun-Times. “University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100, representing 160 professors, lecturers, academic support professionals and technical support professionals at Chicago State University, filed an intent to strike notice with the state’s education labor relations board.”
Michigan Repeals “Right-To-Work” Law
Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law “Democratic bills to repeal Michigan’s right-to-work law that… allows workers in the state to not pay union dues or fees,” reports the Detroit Free Press. “She also reinstated a prevailing wage law that requires union-level wages and benefits for state-funded construction projects.”
Utah To Require Age Verification For Internet Usage; Social Media For Teens Barred In Wee Hours
The first of what could be many states: Utah is regulating internet use under laws signed by Republican Governor Spencer Cox “that require parental consent before kids can sign up for sites,” reports NPR. “The two bills Cox signed into law also prohibit kids under eighteen from using social media between the hours of 10:30pm and 6:30am, require age verification for anyone who wants to use social media in the state and seek to prevent tech companies from luring kids to their apps using ‘addictive’ features… What’s not clear from the Utah bill and others is how the states plan to enforce the new regulations. Companies are already prohibited from collecting data on children under thirteen without parental consent.”
Words From The School Board Chair Who Ousted Florida Principal Who Showed Michelangelo’s “David”
Writes Dan Kois at Slate, “The Tallahassee Democrat reported that the principal of a local charter school, the Tallahassee Classical School, was forced to resign after three parents complained about an art teacher showing a picture of Michelangelo’s sixteenth-century sculpture of David. ‘Parental rights are supreme, and that means protecting the interests of all parents, whether it’s one, ten, twenty or fifty,’ the chair of the school’s board, Barney Bishop III, told the paper.” Kois gave Bishop a call, who turned out to be a testy man: “Parents choose this school because they want a certain kind of education. We’re not gonna have courses from the College Board. We’re not gonna teach ‘1619’ or CRT crap. I know they do all that up in Virginia [where Kois lives]. The rights of parents, that trumps the rights of kids. Teachers are the experts? Teachers have all the knowledge? Are you kidding me? I know lots of teachers that are very good, but to suggest they are the authorities, you’re on better drugs than me… We don’t have safe spaces for kids so they won’t be offended by a Halloween costume. We don’t use pronouns. We teach them phonics. We teach Singapore math. They learn to speak Latin… We’re not going to show the full statue of David to kindergartners. We’re not going to show him to second graders. Showing the entire statue of David is appropriate at some age. We’re going to figure out when that is.”
Pickleball Parley Persists Between Old Vs. Young In Lincoln Park
Bauler Park brawl in Lincoln Park: “Residents unhappy with the noise and the pickleball takeover of the ‘unique wide-open blacktop area’ launched a petition to boot pickleball from the park and restore it to ‘a safe and open space for kids to play in Lincoln Park,'” reports the Tribune.
Threats Successfully Scuttle Porter County Expo Center Drag Show
“Organizers of the contentious PG-rated drag show planned for May 20 as part of the ‘Halfway to Halloween’ event at the Porter County Expo Center have dropped the show from their event citing safety concerns after they, their vendors and staff at the Expo Center received threats via email and voicemail,” reports the Tribune. The sponsoring group, Rogue Syndicate, says they hope to have a new venue soon “so that we can get back to creating safe, inclusive events like we have hosted since 2019 at the Expo.”
Illinois Allocates $20 Million For Security At Institutions Under Threat
“With heightened concerns about extremism and hate crimes throughout the U.S., Illinois officials said they have awarded $20 million in grants to synagogues, mosques and other religious and cultural institutions ‘deemed at high risk of a terrorist attack,'” reports the Tribune. “The grants, which also were awarded to reproductive health centers, must be used for ‘target-hardening activities,’ which include active shooter training, the purchase and installation of security equipment and the hiring of security guards.”
Idaho Blocks Free Tampons: “Too ‘Woke'”
“An Idaho bill aimed at providing students with free feminine hygiene products in school failed… after Republicans slammed the prospect as ‘woke’ and ‘liberal,'” reports Huffington Post. The single-page house bill “would have required that public and public charter schools provide students with free tampons, sanitary napkins and other menstrual products. Dissenting Republicans decried the bill as ‘woke’ and overly generous. ‘This bill is a very liberal policy, and it’s really turning Idaho into a bigger nanny state than ever,’ said state Representative Heather Scott… ‘t’s embarrassing not only because of the topic but because of the actual policy itself.'”
FTC Going After Companies With Online Signup, Phone-Only Cancellation
The Federal Trade Commission has proposed a “click-to-cancel” provision “requiring sellers to make it as easy for consumers to cancel their enrollment as it was to sign up.” This “would go a long way to rescuing consumers from seemingly neverending struggles to cancel unwanted subscription payment plans for everything from cosmetics to newspapers to gym memberships.” FTC chair Lina M. Khan: “Some businesses too often trick consumers into paying for subscriptions they no longer want or didn’t sign up for in the first place.” Adds Ars Technica: “The proposed rule also targets the practice of trying to dissuade consumers from canceling by offering different service options. Sellers would be allowed to ‘pitch additional offers or modifications when a consumer tries to cancel their enrollment,’ but ‘must first ask consumers whether they want to hear them… In other words, a seller must take “no” for an answer and upon hearing “no” must immediately implement the cancellation process.'”
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